13 Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels: 2022

Keep reading for our review of the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels in 2022.

Caring, loving, and intelligent. All these words are used to describe Cocker Spaniels. These super-friendly dogs have been a popular choice for many families since WWII.

However, behind those sweet, loving exteriors lies bundles of energy. And they can suffer from a range of health problems too. 

Luckily, a balanced, nutritional diet will help prevent specific health issues and supply your pup with the energy they need to flourish. Their diet should contain slightly more protein and healthy fats compared to other similar-sized breeds.

This is why we recommend Merrick Real Texas Beef Grain-Free Dog Food as the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels. 

It’s high-quality dog food with a variety of animal protein sources. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients that’ll benefit your dog without adding on extra pounds.

But, if this doesn’t sound like the right choice for your Cocker Spaniel, we’ve found 12 other diets for a variety of scenarios and age groups. From wet foods to dry foods, seniors to puppies, or food allergies to joint problems. 

Let’s take a look.

Quick Picks: 13 Best Dog Food for Cocker Spaniels

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
  • 60% of the protein comes from real meats
  • Made in the USA
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, or chicken
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids for joints, skin, and coat
9.7
Buy Now On Chewy
Best for Puppies
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food
  • Made with real fruits and vegetables for added nutrients
  • High 28% protein content
  • Made in the USA
  • Features K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics to support healthy digestion
9.5
Buy Now On Chewy
Best for Seniors
Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Made free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients
  • Contains powerful antioxidants to protect the immune system
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made specifically for seniors aged 7 years or older
9.1
Buy Now On Chewy
Best Budget
American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
  • A highly affordable brand with high-quality ingredients
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, and fillers
  • Contains delicious fruits and veggies like blueberries, carrots, and kelp
  • Has a high 32% protein
8.8
Buy Now On Chewy
Best Wet
ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dog Food
ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dog Food
  • 85% of contents come from animal sources
  • Has novel proteins like wild boar, goat, and grass-fed lamb
  • No gluten, grains, corn, wheat, soy, or chicken
  • Made in the USA in one of the world's finest facilities
8.6
Buy Now On Chewy
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
  1. Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food (Best for Adult Cocker Spaniels)
  2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food (Best for Cocker Spaniel Puppies)
  3. Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Cocker Spaniels)
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food (Best Wet Food for Cocker Spaniels)
  5. American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
  6. ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dog Food (Best Premium Dog Food)
  7. Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health Adult Dog Food (Best Grain-Free Dog Food)
  8. Instinct Original Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food (Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food)
  9. Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Breed-Specific)
  10. CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food (Best for Cocker Spaniels with Allergies)
  11. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Small Bites Chicken Dog Food (Best for Joint Issues)
  12. Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Control)
  13. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Tummies)


The Best Dog Foods for Cocker Spaniels Reviewed

All the dog foods we are about to go through meet an AAFCO daily nutrient profile for dogs. Before switching your dog’s food, consult your veterinarian. [1]

Best Overall
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Calories: 379 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Cocker Spaniels are a reasonably active breed. So they need high amounts of protein and calories to keep their energy levels up. 

Merrick Real Texas dog food gives your pup precisely this. It’s made with protein-dense ingredients like deboned beef, which will help maintain their muscles and provide them with an energy boost.

The recipe has ample amounts of omega fatty acids, which work to maintain heart health. And, they help improve the skin and coat to give it a lovely, shiny look. Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to the diet to aid the joints and keep them lubricated. 

Merrick has included whole fruits and veggies like apples, peas, and sweet potatoes for potent antioxidants that improve the immune system. Plus, these luscious ingredients are full of fiber which supports digestion.

It is made in the USA using locally sourced ingredients. It has no corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or artificial ingredients. Plus, it’s chicken-free, so pups with food allergies caused by this ingredient can safely eat it too.

What We Like
  • 60% of the protein comes from real meats and animal sources 
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Contains several high-quality fruits and veggies for powerful antioxidants and dietary fibers
  • Made in the USA
  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient on the list, which maintains muscles and energy
  • Ideal caloric content which prevents weight gain too
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, or chicken
  • Taurine included for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Can cause diarrhea when initially switching
  • Kibble can be hard to chew sometimes


Best for Puppies
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Pea Protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 415 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Growth

Want to give your Spaniel the best possible start in life? Cocker Spaniel puppies are no different from other breeds. They need plenty of protein, healthy fats, and nutrients to support their rapid growth and development.

This is why we recommend Taste of the Wild’s puppy food.

It gives them novel proteins like water buffalo, bison, and venison for a protein-dense meal. Plus, they’re excellent sources of essential B vitamins and iron for extra energy. 

The recipe is grain-free, instead choosing to include nutritious vegetables like peas and sweet potatoes as easily digestible carbohydrates. Dried chicory root is used for its rich levels of prebiotics which aids your puppy’s digestive system by nourishing healthy bacteria in their gut.

Natural sources of omega fatty acids like DHA and ARA are included too. These healthy fats will help your puppy produce natural oils that enhance their coat and skin. Plus, they help promote heart health too. 

Taurine is supplemented to work alongside these fatty acids to further boost heart health. Unfortunately, Cocker spaniels are prone to heart diseases like DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy). [2]

The recipe is made in the USA by a family-owned brand, using trusted local and global suppliers. And it has no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients. 

What We Like
  • Made with real fruits and vegetables for added nutrients
  • Has a variety of novel proteins for high-quality amino acids and omega fatty acids
  • Taurine supplemented into the diet for heart health
  • It has several easily digestible ingredients to prevent upset tummies
  • Included powerful antioxidants that improve the immune system and overall well-being
  • High 28% protein content
  • Made in the USA using trusted local and global sources
  • Features K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics to support healthy digestion
What We Don't Like
  • It can cause runny stool initially
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are not supplemented into the diet. But there are natural sources included.


Best for Seniors
Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 11% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 347 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

Cocker Spaniels can live for a very long time. In fact, they can live up to 18 years on average. So giving them a high-quality diet can make all the difference and keep them in your life for longer.

This senior dog food gives your old pup the superior nutrition they deserve with high-quality protein, real fruits and veggies, and essential nutrients.

Real, cage-free chicken is the first ingredient on the list, providing high-quality protein to your Cocker Spaniel. This lean white meat is also an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which aids old joints by cushioning them with cartilage tissue. 

Superfoods like spinach, coconut, oranges, and blueberries provide your canine with healthy antioxidants which protect vulnerable immune systems and promote healthy digestion. 

These beneficial ingredients combine with added probiotics to nourish healthy bacteria in your Spaniel’s tummy. But it doesn’t stop there either. Ingredients like cracked pearled barley and whole grain brown rice act as natural fiber to boost digestion. 

Diamond Naturals Senior dog food is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, and common fillers to make it suitable for sensitive pups. 

It’s made in their state-of-the-art facilities in the US, the highest quality and safety standards, and only trusted local and global sources.

What We Like
  • Each serving contains K9 Strain Probiotics for healthy digestion
  • Made free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Rich amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
  • Contains powerful antioxidants to protect the immune system
  • Made explicitly for seniors aged 7 years or older
  • Made in the USA
  • It has plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Taurine included for protecting the heart
What We Don't Like
  • Some fussy eaters don’t like it
  • Can cause soft stool or diarrhea


Best Wet
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grain-Free Canned Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Calories: 523 kcal/can
  • Key Features: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Blue Buffalo is one of the leading brands on the market for dog food. And it’s easy to see why. This canned dog food uses only the finest natural grain and gluten-free ingredients to give pups a nutritional, complete meal. 

It all begins with protein-dense ingredients like real beef and chicken. 

These luscious meats give the recipe a slightly higher 10% protein content and gives your Cocker Spaniel rich amounts of iron, glucosamine, and essential B vitamins. All of which will boost energy, immune and joint health, and maintain your canine’s muscles.

The recipe is grain-free, instead opting to include ingredients such as flaxseed and potatoes for high concentrations of fiber and nutrients. They’re also an excellent source of magnesium for bone growth and vitamin C for absorbing iron.

Cocker Spaniels tend to suffer from heart disease. So Blue Buffalo supplements folic acid and potassium to lower the risk of heart conditions forming.

As previously mentioned, the diet excludes any gluten and grains. However, it is also made without by-product meals, artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, and soy. 

Plus, this canned food can be fed on its own, as a special treat, or mixed with your pup’s existing dry kibble. However, Blue Buffalo has recently suffered some recalls of specific dog foods in some of their grain-free formulas. 

What We Like
  • Crafted to maintain muscles and keep dog’s full of energy
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, and by-product meals
  • Uses chicken broth instead of water for added nutrients
  • Contains rich levels of essential B vitamins
  • The first ingredient is real beef, followed by whole chicken
  • Flaxseed and potatoes included as natural sources of energy
  • It can be fed on its own, as a treat, or mixed with existing diets
  • Highly reputable dog food brand
What We Don't Like
  • No supplemented taurine to further manage the risks of heart disease
  • Has lower protein content compared to other dry kibbles
  • Blue Buffalo has recently suffered some dog food recalls


Best Budget
American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 380 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Looking for a high-quality diet for your Cocker Spaniel without hurting your wallet? Then give American Journey a try. 

Their formulas include real meats and delicious fruits and vegetables while remaining affordable for most dog parents. In fact, they can sometimes contain better ingredients than more premium brands.

It all begins with deboned beef, a high-protein ingredient with rich amounts of iron and essential B vitamins. These nutrients will go a long way in improving your Spaniel’s digestion and energy levels.

However, beef is a common cause of food allergies. So it’s best to keep an eye on your pet and watch for any symptoms that may develop. 

Chickpeas, peas, and sweet potatoes boost the 32% protein content and supply dogs with natural dietary fibers that improve the digestive system too. Plus, sweet potatoes are excellent sources of calcium, which aids teeth and bone growth. 

High concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids come from flaxseed and salmon oil. These healthy fats help nourish your pup’s skin produce natural oils, regulate brain and vision development, and maintain heart health.

Unfortunately, Spaniels are prone to heart disease like Dilated Cardiomyopathy. This is a deadly disease in dogs and cats, caused by low taurine levels. [3,4]

So American Journey supplements taurine in the diet. Taurine is also needed for fat digestion as it helps produce bile acid in the body. And, it helps with reproduction and vision too. 

The recipe is also free of corn, wheat, soy, and grains. And fillers that may upset tummies are avoided to help food-sensitive pets too.

What We Like
  • A highly affordable brand with plenty of high-quality ingredients
  • Contains delicious fruits and veggies like blueberries, carrots, and kelp
  • Has plenty of omega fatty acids for skin, coat, and heart health
  • Natural sources of dietary fibers come from ingredients like flaxseed and salmon oil
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, and fillers
  • Taurine included for managing heart disease risks
  • It has a high 32% protein content
  • Has high concentrations of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and bones
  • Preserved with rosemary extract
What We Don't Like
  • Includes beef, a common allergen for dogs
  • Can increase stool frequency
  • Some picky eaters don’t like it because it can contain lots of crumbs


Best Premium
ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Wild Boar, Goat, Lamb, Lamb Liver
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Calories: 463 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat
  • No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

If you’re only after the finest ingredients, and you’re not worried about the cost, then this dog food is the perfect solution. And it’s excellent for pups that spend a lot of time outdoors because of its high 38% protein content.

This dog food starts with all five of its first ingredients being animal sources. In fact, over 85% of the contents in this recipe originate from animal sources or organs. 

And ORIJEN preserves these ingredients by freezing them when they’re most fresh, so there’s no real risk of parasites.

Pollock oil is included as an alternative source of omega fatty acids. These help reduce heart disease risks, promote natural skin oils in your Spaniel’s body, and give them a beautiful, shiny coat.

Natural dietary fibers come from ingredients such as lentils and pinto beans. But, while these plant ingredients contribute to the protein content, they also supply iron for long-lasting energy and amino acids. 

ORIJEN Regional Red dog food is made using the world’s best, most trusted ingredients and is crafted in the USA. It is free from grains, corn, wheat, and soy. Plus, it’s chicken-free too. 

What We Like
  • All of the first five ingredients are animal protein sources
  • Contains high concentrations of amino acids, dietary fibers, and powerful antioxidants
  • Made using only the finest ingredients in the USA
  • Has no wheat, corn, soy, and chicken
  • Impressive 38% protein content is more than enough for canines
  • Contains several novel proteins
  • Pollock oil is included for omega fatty acids that aid the heart, as well as nourish the skin and coat
  • Kibble is freeze-dried, and raw coated to enhance flavor and entice fussy eaters
What We Don't Like
  • No added sources of taurine
  • High caloric content can cause weight gain if not monitored
  • Can cause inconsistency in stool


Best Grain-Free
Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health Adult Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Meal, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5.25% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 386 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

While most canines are fine on a grain-inclusive diet, some dog parents simply prefer to give their best friend a grain-free diet. Pups may also need a grain-free diet due to food sensitivities. But it can be challenging to find a high protein and quality diet.

This is why we recommend Wellness Complete Health grain-free dog food

This natural diet is made using carefully considered ingredients to create balanced and complete nutrition that improves most aspects of your Spaniel’s body.

It all begins with the first ingredient, deboned chicken. This lean protein-dense food has high amounts of glucosamine that aids joints and gives your energetic pup bundles of energy.

High concentrations of omega fatty acids can be found in ingredients like ground flaxseed and chicken fat. These benefit the joints further but also improve eyesight, brain function, improve dry skin, and maintain heart health.

And your Cocker Spaniel gets an added boost from powerful antioxidants in carrots, spinach, peas, and tomatoes. All of which improve the immune system. 

Finally, the digestive system is offered support through beneficial probiotics and fiber in brown rice and oatmeal

Plus, taurine rounds off the incredible nutrition in this dog food to maintain a healthy heart, support nerve growth and the brain.

Wellness Complete Health dog food is made free of meat by-products, artificial fillers or preservatives, and GMOs. And it’s made without corn, wheat, and soy. So you can sleep easy knowing your pup is getting only the best available nutrition from their diet. 

What We Like
  • Has several high-quality ingredients that other grain-free diets lack
  • Features an impressive variety of protein sources and healthy fats
  • Fortified with antioxidants, glucosamine, taurine, and omega fatty acids
  • Made without GMOs, artificial ingredients, and meat by-products
  • Crafted using trusted, globally recognized ingredients in the USA
  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
  • Preserved with rosemary and green tea extracts
  • Low sodium content protects the heart
What We Don't Like
  • It isn’t free of gluten products which can trigger some food allergies


Best Freeze-Dried
Instinct Original Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Rabbit, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Canola Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36.5% Crude Protein, 20.5% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 524 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Chicken-Free, Natural
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Looking for all the nutritional benefits of a raw-fed diet but simply don’t have the time? Then try Instinct Original Freeze-Dried raw dog food.

And it’s an ideal choice for Cocker Spaniels with chicken allergies because of its high-quality, alternative protein sources.

The first ingredient on the list is farm-raised rabbit. This novel ingredient largely contributes to the diet’s vast 36.5% protein content.

And, the formula has a high 20% fat content. This mainly comes from ingredients like salmon meal and menhaden fish meal. But, these foods also have high concentrations of omega fatty acids to support your dog’s skin, coat, heart, and joints too.

Instinct Original’s recipe is fortified with live probiotics that nourish healthy bacteria in your pup’s belly. So they’re hugely beneficial for sensitive tummies. And succulent fruits and veggies contribute antioxidants that combat free radicals and help strengthen the immune system.

This dog food is made in the USA with carefully considered ingredients trusted worldwide.

Sensitive dogs will also benefit from the recipe, excluding corn, wheat, and soy. It has no by-product meals, gluten, grains, artificial ingredients, or potatoes. 

What We Like
  • Offers the benefits of a raw diet that is also convenient for dog parents
  • Fortified with live probiotics for digestion
  • Made in the USA
  • Has an impressive 71% animal ingredients, as well as 29% real fruits and veggies
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids
  • 36.5% protein content helps maintain muscles and energy
  • Whole fruits and veggies give your pup antioxidants that strengthen the immune system
  • Has no corn, wheat, soy, gluten, grains, by-product meals, or artificial ingredients
  • Suitable for dogs with chicken sensitivities
What We Don't Like
  • No supplemented taurine in the recipe list
  • High 524 kcal/cup caloric content is unsuitable for overweight dogs


Best Breed-Specific
Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel Adult Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats, Chicken Fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 3.3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 304 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Breed-Specific
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Whether you have an American or English Cocker Spaniel, this tailor-made dog food is uniquely formulated to give your pup the nutrients they need to thrive. 

The recipe contains high concentrations of vitamin A and omega fatty acids from ingredients like fish oil to nourish the skin and give your dog a shiny coat. Cocker Spaniels are prone to suffering from dry skin, so these ingredients can be a real lifesaver.

Chicken by-product meal is included as the primary source of protein. While it’s not the first ingredient, your canine will get tons of amino sugars like glucosamine and chondroitin. Plus, chicken fat contributes these nutrients too. 

These healthy additives help protect your Spaniels joints by growing cartilage tissue around them, preventing them from rubbing. In fact, some studies suggest glucosamine as a leading prevention of osteoarthritis. [5]

The unique kibble shape is crafted specifically for your Spaniel’s broad muzzle and square jaw. This makes it easy for them to pick up and chew their food, preventing nutrient deficiencies.

Royal Canin’s Cocker Spaniel dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Spaniels aged 12 months or older.

You can be confident this diet is complete and balanced for your Spaniel too. It is developed by veterinarians and nutritional experts using scientific data and research.

What We Like
  • Rich amounts of omega fatty acids to nourish the skin and coat
  • Made specifically for Cocker Spaniels aged 12 months or older
  • Unique kibble size makes it easy to pick up and chew
  • Supplemented vitamin A to maintain optimal health and support nerves
  • Has high concentrations of amino sugars for the joints
What We Don't Like
  • Includes grains and gluten ingredients, making it unsuitable for specific food allergies
  • Lacks some whole fruits and vegetables that other brands will have
  • Can cause upset stomach early on
  • Some fussy eaters don’t like the formula


Best for Allergies
CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 496 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Cocker Spaniels are really prone to food allergies. Most limited ingredient dog foods will be the best way to control them. However, some of these diets will lack essential nutrients that’ll support your canine’s everyday activities.

But this is certainly not the case for CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient dog food

It removes common allergens like chicken, beef, and dairy products to prevent triggering adverse reactions or new allergies forming. [6]

And you can see this because of the recipe’s restricted ingredients, using salmon as the sole protein source to make up the 32% protein. 

Salmon is an ideal ingredient because of its rich amounts of omega fatty acids. 

While these nutrients help improve dry, itchy skin, a common problem for sensitive pups, they also manage allergic reactions because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s fortified with a unique combination of CANIDAE’s HealthPLUS blend of probiotics and antioxidants, which improve the immune and digestive systems. And it features complex carbohydrates like potatoes and peas for a consistent energy source.

Taurine is supplemented to improve heart health and prevent heart diseases like DCM in dogs. This is a common concern for many Cocker Spaniel owners. 

To finally wind it all up, this dog food is made without corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or grains. It is also free of artificial ingredients, fillers, and problematic additives. And it’s made in the USA, in CANIDAE’s Texas facility. 

What We Like
  • Made with only 8 natural foods to give your pup complete, balanced nutrition
  • Has no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Fortified with CANIDAE’s HealthPLUS blend of probiotics to aid the digestive system
  • Contains high amounts of omega fatty acids to manage allergies
  • Made in the USA in CANIDAE’s Texas facility
  • Made free of grains, gluten, corn, wheat, or soy
  • Has several antioxidants that will improve the immune system
  • Added taurine for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • High caloric content isn’t ideal for overweight dogs
  • Some dog parents have noticed changes in the ingredients list recently
  • Kibble can be relatively small for some mouths
  • Can cause gassiness


Best for Joint Issues
Hill's Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Small Bites Chicken Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 17% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 359 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Natural
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Cocker Spaniels are prone to suffering from joint conditions like hip dysplasia. Sometimes shedding off the extra pounds can help. But most of the time, they’ll need tailored nutrition to give them additional protection. 

Because of this, we recommend trying Hill’s Science Diet mobility dog food.

It is made explicitly for pups with joint or mobility problems. It gives them natural sources of amino sugars like glucosamine and chondroitin. And, it has rich amounts of omega fatty acids from ingredients like fish oil to maintain cartilage tissue around the joints. 

The recipe has a balanced blend of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to improve your Cocker Spaniel’s bones and nurture tender joints.

This all starts with chicken meal and chicken fat. These nutritional ingredients are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which will improve your canine’s mobility. 

Pearled barley and brown rice boost the digestive system and supply pups with dietary fiber, probiotics, and essential B vitamins. Plus, they’ll help your Spaniel’s brain too. 

Hill’s Science Diet mobility dog food is made in the USA with global, natural foods. However, it does have grains and soy in it. But it’s free of corn-based ingredients.

What We Like
  • Rich amounts of EPA from fish oil improves mobility and joints
  • Has natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • A balanced blend of minerals and vitamins that strengthen bones and aid digestive systems
  • Made in the USA using global, natural foods that you can trust
  • Chicken meal is the first ingredient on the list
  • Supplemented taurine for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Slightly lower protein content compared to other mobility brands
  • Contains grains and soy
  • Not a massive hit for fussy eaters due to the unique smell


Best for Weight Control
Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 335 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Weight Control, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Cocker Spaniels are notorious for piling on the extra pounds. And unfortunately, this can lead to other mobility or joint problems because of genetics. But, a healthy, complete diet, combined with regular exercise, can go a long way. 

Nutro Ultra Weight Management dog food has three lean animal protein sources, farm-raised chicken, lamb, and salmon. These high-quality ingredients work together to give your pup ample amounts of amino acids that will maintain their muscles.

Plus, these luscious foods are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to aid overworked joints. Omega fatty acids from flaxseed and sunflower oil work alongside these amino sugars to improve your canine’s overall mobility.

Taurine is included to prevent DCM risks in Cocker Spaniels, a particularly vulnerable breed for this disease. But this additive also stimulates nerve growth and improves eyesight and hearing.

Finally, it is packed with antioxidants to improve your Spaniel’s immune system and regulate heart health. 

And the recipe’s lower 335 kcal/cup calories encourage weight loss and prevent all these healthy nutrients, amino sugars, vitamins, minerals from going to waste.  

Nutro Ultra’s Weight Management dog food has no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. It is made using natural ingredients from trusted suppliers and is crafted by Nutro’s dedicated team of experts.

What We Like
  • An ideal protein-to-fat ratio that sheds off extra pounds and maintains muscles
  • Lower 335 kcal/cup gives plenty of energy and encourages weight loss
  • Made without artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, or soy
  • Crafted by Nutro’s dedicated team of experts
  • Added taurine for heart health, nerves, eyesight, and hearing
  • Omega fatty acids improve mobility and protect tired joints
  • High-quality protein sources maintain muscles and act as natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains several potent antioxidants for the immune system
What We Don't Like
  • Can cause diarrhea or soft stool initially


Best for Sensitive Tummies
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Yellow Peas, Potatoes, Potato Starch, Chicken Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20.5% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 405 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

This grain-free dog food from Hill’s Science Diet is specifically formulated for sensitive tummies to help your Spaniel live a long, healthy life. 

It contains several high-quality ingredients that are easy for your pup to digest and protein-dense foods for steady amounts of energy. 

Highly digestible protein comes from real chicken and provides dogs with nutrients that aid the heart and maintain lean muscles. 

Healthy fats like omega-6 fatty acids come from flaxseed and supplemented vitamin E encourages your pup’s body to produce natural skin oils. This helps combat dry, itchy skin and gives them a glossy, shiny coat. 

Apples and cranberries are packed full of vitamin C, which prevents free radical tissue damage in the body and helps reduce inflammation. Vitamin C is also thought to decrease cognitive aging. [7]

And finally, this luscious meal is rounded off with beet pulp, acting as a natural source of prebiotic fiber to aid the digestive system. 

Hill’s Science Diet is frequently recommended by veterinarians because of its high-quality nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It’s also grain-free, so it’ll go easy on sensitive pups too. 

What We Like
  • Has several sources of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
  • Made without grains
  • High amounts of vitamins and minerals to support your pup’s daily activities
  • Commonly recommended by veterinarians
  • Specifically made as a sensitive digestion diet
  • Taurine included for heart health
  • Real chicken is used as a primary protein source and has high amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin
What We Don't Like
  • Can cause diarrhea early on
  • While it has some high-quality fruits and veggies, it doesn’t have as many as other brands


Common Health Concerns For Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels aren’t the healthiest breed. They can suffer from a variety of health problems. But, remarkably, they can live for a very long time. In fact, they can live up to 15 years, provided they get the care they deserve.

Here are some common health concerns you should look out for and how their diet can make a difference. 

Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem for most dogs. Over 40% of dogs in the developed world are overweight. And while Cocker Spaniels are considered “sporting dogs,” they’re usually a family pet, which means they get spoiled a lot and get plenty of food. [8]

Obesity can cause other health problems, including issues with joints, the heart, and the liver. So it’s crucial that Cocker Spaniels keep a healthy weight and eat the correct calories. 

But as a dog parent, it can be a daunting prospect. So how do you go about doing this? Usually, you should feed your Cocker Spaniel twice a day. And these meals should be within their daily calorie limit.

We also recommend you don’t free-feed throughout the day as it can be challenging to keep tabs on how much they’re eating. 

Suppose you’ve noticed that your pup has gained a little weight. Then try speaking to your veterinarian about these concerns. They may recommend some methods to shed off those extra pounds and help control their weight.

Ear Infections

Cocker Spaniels are known for their long, floppy ears. However, because they have hairy ear canals, it can lead to bacteria and yeast accumulating in their ears. And this can cause ear infections.

Most of the time, this is caused by allergies, which lowers the effectiveness of your canine’s immune system. As a result, it can cause discharge, redness, and itchiness and cause them to scratch them more. 

The most effective way to prevent ear infections is to be aware of any existing allergies your pup may suffer from. Plus, you should give them a balanced, complete meal that doesn’t negatively impact them. Your vet may also be able to recommend a solution for cleaning their ears.

Overall, preventing ear infections is vital. Otherwise, it can cause your loveable friend severe pain and even hearing loss if it’s left untreated.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can affect any dog. And Cocker Spaniels are the same.

Usually, you’ll notice they’re suffering from symptoms like swelling, red or itchy skin, or they’re constantly scratching. But if you’re not 100% sure, then you can always take them to a veterinarian for tests. 

The most common ingredients that cause allergies are beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, and wheat.

Luckily, several diets are available that can make it easy to avoid these foods. Many commercial dog food brands offer limited ingredient diets, like Nutro and Natural Balance, to name a few. 

These will help you avoid certain protein ingredients and still offer your canine a meal with plenty of nutrients they need. 

Looking for dog food without certain ingredients because of your canine’s food allergies? Our team of vet techs and veterinarians have been busy researching so you don’t have to. Take a look at some of our guides and reviews here.

Hip Dysplasia

This joint condition is usually made worse by obesity. And it can be avoided by giving your pup a proper, complete diet. However, seniors can be particularly vulnerable to it, so maintaining a healthy weight is crucial at this point in their life. 

Hip Dysplasia occurs when the thigh bone doesn’t fit into your furry friend’s hip joint, causing it to snap and break. If this happens, it can cause limping, severe pain, and even arthritis.

To help prevent this, give your Cocker Spaniel a diet with plenty of nutrients like glucosamine and omega fatty acids. These will help strengthen and protect your canine’s joints. 

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common health problem for Cocker Spaniels. It happens when your dog’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones and causes inflammation in the body. 

It can cause ear infections, lethargy, hair loss, and weight gain. Dogs with this condition will need medication for the rest of their lives. But, a veterinarian may also recommend a diet with specific nutrients to help relieve certain symptoms.

Some dogs who struggle to maintain their weight may need a low-calorie diet. 

If so, try to find one with high concentrations of omega fatty acids to nourish your Cocker Spaniel’s dry skin and coat. This is a common problem for dogs with this condition.

Primary Seborrhea

Cocker Spaniels can suffer from several skin conditions, like Primary Seborrhea. It is an inherited skin disorder, which is caused by an imbalance of specific cells which convert into hair and skin. 

It often causes red, itchy, scaly, or flaky skin. And while this condition cannot be cured, there are numerous ways to treat it. 

Your dog will firstly need to be diagnosed by a veterinarian. Then you’ll be able to give them ointments which help when flare-ups occur. For your pup’s diet, we would recommend finding dog food with chondroitin, glucosamine, and omega fatty acids. 

All of these nutrients are known to improve the skin. Omega fatty acids encourage your dog’s body to produce natural skin oils.  Glucosamine and chondroitin help skin aging and the hydration of the skin. [9,10]

Food Allergies

Food allergies happen when the body thinks a harmless protein is foreign or abnormal. This causes an inflammatory response in the body. You may notice that your dog suffers from dry, itchy skin, swelling, or over-the-top scratching and rubbing. 

If you suspect your pup is allergic to a specific allergen, then consult your veterinarian so they can be tested. 

The most common allergens are proteins. But luckily, there are a wide variety of limited ingredient formulas that will still give your dog a complete, balanced diet too. Most of the time, avoiding these common allergens is the most effective way to manage food allergies.

Patellar Luxation

This disorder is common for Cocker Spaniels. It happens when the kneecap and knee joint becomes dislocated. And most of the time, it’s present from birth and affects females more than males. It can also occur after a severe injury or accident.

Most of the time, you’ll notice that your Cocker Spaniel has trouble walking, or they drag a walk when they’re walking.

Usually, Patellar Luxation will require surgery. However, sometimes veterinarians will prescribe steroids or medication to treat it. [11]

But, giving your dog a diet with rich amounts of glucosamine and essential vitamins like vitamin E or C has been shown to help ease pain and protect the joints.  



Ingredients That May Help Your Cocker Spaniel Health Problems

While Cocker Spaniels don’t need specific amounts of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, they do require specific nutrients in their diet to prevent certain health problems.

Here are some nutrients they need in their diet.

Fiber

Cocker Spaniels don’t tend to suffer from upset tummies or food sensitivities that may impact their gut.

So long as your canine doesn’t suffer from food allergies, the usual amounts of fiber in most dog foods will be fine.

Essentially, they’ll be fine on 4% fiber content in their diet.

Healthy Fats

Unlike other breeds, Cocker Spaniels don’t need high concentrations of fats in their diet. But they do need the nutrients they contain, like omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and DHA. These will support tender joints and muscles and keep energy levels topped up. [12]

The best sources of healthy fats come from ingredients like flaxseed oil and fish oils (including salmon). Egg yolk and chicken fat are also two excellent sources, provided your pup isn’t allergic.

Moderate Amounts of High-Quality Protein

Cocker Spaniels are known for being pretty active breeds. And yet, they’re not active enough to need high amounts of protein in their diet.

So, an adult Cocker Spaniel will need around 22% protein content in their diet. [13]

The source of the protein is the most critical part, though. Usually, we recommend that they get their protein from animal sources like beef, fish, lamb, or venison. 

These real meats will provide your pup with more nutrients than other plant-based protein sources. They can act as natural sources of glucosamine or omega fatty acids too.

Meat meals are excellent alternative protein sources, especially if money is tight.

Nutritional Carbohydrates

While dogs don’t need carbohydrates in their diet, they can help the digestive system, act as energy sources, and aid the heart and brain. Dogs simply do not need as many carbs in their diet as humans do.

Cocker Spaniels will benefit from easily digestible, complex carbohydrates. Some of the best sources of these carbs include sweet potatoes and oats. Beans and lentils are also excellent sources. However, they are slightly higher in calories and can quickly be too much for your Cocker Spaniel.

Vitamins & Minerals

Most commercial dog foods will have plenty of vitamins and minerals your pup needs to function properly. However, there are specific nutrients that can be really beneficial for them.

Some nutrients you should look for include glucosamine, chondroitin, omega fatty acids, and vitamin E. These help prevent common health problems like obesity, patellar luxation, and joint problems. They’re also great for enhancing the skin and giving your Spaniel a lovely, healthy coat.

Look for nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus for bone support. Sometimes they’ll be supplemented into the diet, while other times can be found in certain ingredients. 

Ingredients to Avoid

When it comes to finding the best dog food for your Cocker Spaniel, there are certain ingredients you should avoid at all costs. Simply, if a food contains them, walk away and find another one. These harmful additives can cause allergies, digestion problems, and heart failure. 

To give your pup the best diet, avoid artificial preservatives like Ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. Other synthetic ingredients like artificial flavors and colors should be avoided too.

Sometimes, ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy, can trigger allergies, so it’s usually best to avoid them whenever possible. But, if your dog doesn’t suffer from food allergies, these are fine in small doses.



Cocker Spaniel Feeding Guidelines

Although Cocker Spaniels are pretty active dogs, surprisingly, they don’t need loads of food. In fact, they can quickly pile on extra pounds if they’re fed incorrectly. 

So you must feed them the right amount of food with the correct calories, taking into account their individual circumstances. 

Here are a few quick tips for feeding your Cocker Spaniel.

Cocker Spaniel Puppies

Because of their fast growth, they need higher amounts of protein, healthy fats, and calories. But, compared to other puppy dog breeds, they need slightly less.

Cocker Spaniel puppies need around 25-28 calories per pound of body weight. The average Cocker Spaniel weighs approximately 30 pounds. So, your puppy needs around 750-840 calories per day. 

However, this is a rough estimate and doesn’t take into account your puppy’s activity levels, neuter status, existing health history, and so on.

Below, we have broken down how many times a day your puppy should eat.

AgeDaily Meals
2-4 months5 meals
4-6 months3-4 meals
6-12 months2-3 meals

Eventually, you’ll be feeding your Cocker Spaniel puppy about 3 times a day. Try to give them smaller portions (approx. 250-280 calories per meal) to prevent digestion problems and overeating.

However, it’s always best to follow the food manufacturer’s recommendations on your dog’s food.

Make sure you purchase high-quality dog food specifically made for puppies. These will contain high concentrations of nutrients they need to shine. For example, they’ll have omega fatty acids for brain development, calcium for bone growth, and glucosamine for your puppy’s muscles and joints.

Adult Cocker Spaniels

Once Cocker Spaniels reach 12 months old, they can switch to adult dog food. But, they still need the same amount of calories. So, they’ll need around 25-28 calories per pound.

A healthy weight for a Cocker Spaniel is 30 pounds, so they need around 750-840 calories per day.

And, because they’ve reached adulthood, they can be fed twice a day because their digestive system has matured. Feeding them regularly will also prevent stomach problems.

Senior Cocker Spaniels

Older Spaniels need specific nutrients in their diet to live longer and stay healthy. For example, rich amounts of omega fatty acids will aid their tender joints, while dietary fibers will protect their digestive system.

However, senior Cocker Spaniels have slower metabolisms, so they’ll need fewer calories. 

Senior Cocker Spaniels should be fed around 20-25 calories per pound of body weight. So, they’ll need to have approximately 600-750 calories per day in two separate meals.

Wet vs. Dry Food: Which Is Best for Cocker Spaniels?

Both wet food and dry food have their individual benefits. Wet foods are an excellent way to rehydrate your pup and can sometimes contain higher concentrations of nutrients. Meanwhile, dry foods can improve dental hygiene and are more cost-effective. 

As a dog parent, it’s entirely up to you which option you choose. If your pup isn’t a fussy eater, then dry food will be fine for them. However, if they don’t like drinking water, they’re older, missing teeth, or a fussy eater, then wet food can be an excellent choice.

Final Verdict

Cocker Spaniels are prone to a variety of health problems. So they need additional support from their diet to keep them happy and healthy. 

Luckily, these cute, long-eared canines can live for almost 20 years and don’t need a special high-protein, grain-free, or raw diet to flourish.

This is why we recommend Merrick Real Texas Beef Grain-Free Dog Food as the best dog food for Cocker Spaniels. 

It gives them real, nutritional ingredients like sweet potatoes and beef. Plus, beef is also joined by high-quality meats like lamb and salmon. So your Cocker Spaniel will be spoilt for choice! 

It has plenty of vitamins and nutrients to support their fragile joints and protect muscles. All while preventing them from gaining any extra weight. 

But, if those tender, natural meats don’t appeal to your pup, you cannot go wrong with any of the recommendations we’ve made. They’ll all keep your furry friend’s belly full and their tail wagging.

How useful was this post?

Click on a heart to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

James Fuller

James Fuller

Founder of Honest Whiskers

Hey! I’ve owned a pet pretty much all my life, in fact, I currently have both a cat and a dog! My mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information

Dogs and Cat
Looking for pet food?

Save 30% on your next order

We have partnered with Chewy.com to give you the best deals on top brands of pet food for our readers. Simply click the button below and we’ll take you to their exclusive discount page!

Looking for pet food?

Save 30% on your next order

We have partnered with Chewy.com to give you the best deals on top brands of pet food for our readers. Simply click the button below and we’ll take you to their exclusive discount page!